LibertyProject

Our Vermont Savior: Bernie Sanders Ended His Presidential Bid, but His Impact Will Persist

Bernie Sanders is no longer running for president, but he had an indelible impact on American politics.

Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race on Wednesday, April 8th. The news broke at around 11AM ET, and Sanders addressed his supporters in a live-streamed press conference starting at 11:45.

Standing inside his home, flanked by framed photos of bucolic houses, the Brooklyn-born Vermont senator thanked his supporters—specifically mentioning his campaign staff, all the people who called and texted for him, and all the artists and writers who did their best to promote his unprecedented campaign for president.

"The greatest obstacle to social change is the corporate and political establishment," he told the audience as comments flickered down the side of the screen—a Trump 2020 troll, then a Biden supporter, then a disappointed fan calling for him to re-enter.

Sanders, broadcasting from Burlington, Vermont seemed calm, yet focused. He referenced the Nelson Mandela quote, "It always seems impossible until it's done." He reminded his followers that while Medicare for All was a fringe idea in 2016, now multiple democratic candidates supported it in the presidential race, and now progressive ideals have pervaded mainstream American consciousness.

"Few would deny...our movement has won the ideological struggle," he said. "A majority of the American people now understand that we must raise the minimum wage...that we must guarantee healthcare as a right...that we must transform our energy system away from fossil fuels...and that higher education must be available to all, regardless of income."

Bernie was always a policy candidate, fixated on the issues at hand, clearly tormented by the idea that people are still sleeping on the streets in the richest nation in the world. The rest of the image surrounding him—the toxic masculinity, the Internet trolls—may have been true in part, and perhaps that played a role in his campaign's demise, but the truth is that Bernie's campaign failed for the same reason it won the support of millions of young people and working class people across the country: It was always about supporting and uplifting the working class.

"A member of Congress for nearly 30 years, Mr. Sanders has been bitingly frank about the way that money strangles American democracy," wrote Elizabeth Bruenig in a rare pro-Bernie New York Times op-ed, published conveniently after Sanders dropped out. "Rich individuals with a vested interest in defanging egalitarian politics donate to campaigns, PACs, universities and think tanks in hopes of purchasing lawmakers' loyalties and rigging the legislative process in their favor. These oligarchs — the Koch brothers, the Mercers and Michael Bloomberg, among others — exert control over our politics that far exceeds the one vote accorded to each citizen."

In a nation that worships wealth above all else, and that's truly led by massive corporations, perhaps this was a doomed endeavor. Sanders certainly invoked ire across political parties; and sometimes, Bernie supporters did exhibit somewhat cult-like behavior—though from personal experience, this cult mostly consisted people who were deeply inspired and committed to healing American society.

For some, that Sanders dropped out in the midst of the coronavirus crisis only adds insult to injury. As Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor wrote in the brilliant New Yorker article "Reality Has Endorsed Bernie Sanders"—published a week before he dropped out—coronavirus is starkly illuminating the validity of points that Bernie has been making all along. "The class-driven hierarchy of our society will encourage the spread of this virus unless dramatic and previously unthinkable solutions are immediately put on the table," Taylor writes. "As Sanders has counseled, we must think in unprecedented ways… The Sanders campaign...has shown public appetite, even desire, for vast spending and new programs. These desires did not translate into votes because they seemed like a risky endeavor when the consequence was four more years of Trump. But the mushrooming crisis of COVID-19 is changing the calculus. As federal officials announce new trillion-dollar aid packages daily, we can never go back to banal discussions of 'How will we pay for it?' How can we not?"

Though Bernie's acquiescence to Joe Biden is a devastating loss for many of his supporters, particularly those who were never able to even cast a vote for him, in many ways Sanders' decision to drop out was a logical and even ethical choice. As Sanders himself stated in the broadcast, there was no clear path to his election—a crushing Biden victory on Super Tuesday made that clear—and in addition, holding primary elections during the coronavirus crisis poses its own unique health dangers and inevitably would distort the results.

Now, for all intents and purposes, Biden is the Democratic nominee. Though he fell short of actually endorsing Biden, Bernie called the former vice president a "very decent man" and promised to do his best to promote his progressive ideals in the forthcoming campaign.

The road ahead will be long and difficult, regardless of who wins this November. But our Vermont savior, who symbolized such a potent and promising new world, at the very least laid down some seeds. We may not see them this season, but maybe in future years, the ideas Bernie Sanders planted will be able to grow.

"Now is a moment to remake our society anew," Taylor writes. To say Bernie made an indelible impact on American politics is an understatement. In a critical and volatile moment, he inspired a new wave of young progressives to organize, and made millions of voters question the status quo. He prioritized morality in his campaign in an era that seems entirely devoid of it—not morality in terms of tolerance that disguises inaction, but morality defined by what we truly owe to each other.

These ideas will not die out after Sanders exits the primary. If anything, they'll become more local, more grassroots, more rooted in people power. After all, mainstream political parties in America have never been at the forefront of radical people-focused action. That kind of change will always have to come from the actions of everyday folks, organizing and fighting tirelessly for people they don't know.

MUSIC

Popdust Investigates: Is Garth Brooks the World's Biggest Bernie Sanders Fan?

Popdust investigates whether or not Garth Brooks is a huge Bernie Sanders supporters.

One glance at country singer Garth Brooks in his big black cowboy hat and signature goatee, and you know you're looking at a man who's got friends in low places.

Garth Brooks isn't a black-tie affair kinda guy. He's the real deal, a country boy just like you, drinkin' whiskey, burpin' loudly, and sellin' his music exclusively at Walmart for a while.

www.youtube.com

But Garth Brooks does more than just pander to the working class experience while raking in the big bucks. He apparently supports working class ideals, too, specifically the grassroots organization efforts surrounding presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. To show his support for the anti-establishment Sanders—who has been firing up a diverse coalition of voters with calls for Medicare For All and an end to billionaire exploitation of the working class—Brooks donned what appeared to be a custom-made Sanders jersey featuring the number 20, clearly implying "Bernie Sanders 2020." Very cool, Garth!

See on Instagram

Now, there's an alternate reading to this that might ruffle a few feathers, and we don't want to project, but...

There is a famous former professional football player named Barry Sanders. So the possibility does exist that Brooks was actually wearing a regular Barry Sanders jersey and not a custom-made Bernie Sanders jersey. As painful as this might be to recognize, in the name of journalistic integrity we must consider the evidence and perform a thorough investigation.

Firstly, Barry Sanders played for the Detroit Lions, and Garth Brooks' picture was taken during a show he was playing in Detroit. And while this might seem coincidental, perhaps it's also worth noting that Barry Sanders number was also 20.

Using state-of-the-art photo analyzation software, we've also managed to place a photo of Barry Sanders wearing his jersey next to the picture of Garth Brooks. You'll notice that the jerseys are different colors, but the striped markings on the sleeves are alarmingly similar.

Garth Brooks Barry Sanders

Of course, all of this could just be a coincidence, so we reached out to some experts for further research. One of them directed us to a website called "www.nflshop.com," where we discovered a grey Barry Sanders Jersey for sale that very closely resembles the one Garth Brooks is wearing in his Instagram post. It's not an exact match, but the similarities are jarring, to say the least.

Barry Sanders Jersey NFL

We also cross-checked our data with an outside database documenting public sentiment. Here's what we found:

Garth Brooks Barry Sanders



According to some of the most credible supporters of current president and coronavirus acolyte Donald Trump, the jersey most definitely does represent support for Bernie Sanders. Now, it's important to recognize that when it comes to knowledge, these Trump supporters are among the most informed people on the planet.

In conclusion, Trump supporters agree that Garth Brooks is the world's biggest Bernie Sanders fan who commissioned a custom "Bernie 2020" jersey for his Detroit concert. Phew, bullet dodged. Case closed.

MUSIC

13 Celebrities Who Are Feeling the Bern

These stars have publicized their support for Bernie Sanders.

Recently, Twitter was gifted with visual documentation of Ariana Grande's biggest smile ever.

It occurred when the ponytailed pop princess met Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who attended Grande's Atlanta show in a delightful cable knit sweater. "MY GUY," read Grande's caption, essentially solidifying her endorsement in the 2020 election.

This is only the most recent example on a long list of celebrities declaring their love for Senator Sanders. Below, we're sharing just a few well-known stars and Internet personalities who have declared that they're feeling the Bern.

Weyes Blood

The musician Weyes Blood—whose incredible album Titanic Rising we named one of last year's best—started 2020 by meeting her candidate of choice. The singer-songwriter, real name Natalie Mering, shared a photo of herself and Sanders, publicizing her decision for the 2020 race.



Cardi B

"I been reading about Bernie Sanders and I'm really sad how we let him down in 2016," the "Bodak Yellow" rapper tweeted over the summer, emphasizing that improving the country has been a proven passion of his and "not a new front for a campaign." In August, the unlikely friends appeared in a campaign video together, in which Cardi interviewed Sanders about social issues especially relevant to his platform, including police brutality, DACA, and the student debt crisis—from a nail salon, naturally.

John Mulaney

Though Mulaney once subtly compared Donald Trump in the White House to a horse in a hospital, the Big Mouth comedian keeps his political opinions separate from his jokes. It might be surprising, then, to know that Mulaney donated at least $1,250 to Sanders' 2016 campaign. "I have a problem with 'Comedians are really brave and we need them now more than ever,'" he told Esquire this year. "It's like, we're not congressmen. We're court jesters." In that case, Mulaney's the most generous court jester we know.

Shailene Woodley

Woodley made headlines in 2016 after being arrested while protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, but it didn't put a damper on her political activism. "I'm ready for the political revolution and all in it for Bernie Sanders," the Fault In Our Stars actress tweeted in June.

Mark Ruffalo

On a Late Show With Stephen Colbert appearance this month, Ruffalo explained that he's been feeling the Bern since the 2016 election. "The rest of the United States is just finally caught up to what [Sanders] has been doing his entire career. And you know that when he gets into office, he's going to be fighting for us," the Avengers: Endgame actor said.

Jaboukie Young-White

As a comedian and "actual young person" on The Daily Show, Twitter has become a major outlet for Young-White, so it makes sense that that's where he'd declare his endorsement. He kept it simple in the caption of a mirror selfie, in which he's wearing a Bernie t-shirt: "im a bernie bro."

Anthony Fantano

On his YouTube channel theneedledrop, Anthony Fantano has made a name for himself divulging his divisive opinions on music. But he has firm opinions on politics, too: "[Joe Biden's] brain is MELTING, and winning the primary will only lead to an inevitable implosion," the Internet personality tweeted after a Democratic debate in September. "Stop messing around with this fool and support other candidates—preferably Bernie."

Ezra Koenig

Koenig also supported Sanders in 2016, and said his band Vampire Weekend would like to "help out" the candidate in the 2020 election, too. But it's hard to match the energy of Sanders' first run: "I like to believe he's less of a sociopath than a lot of people who want to be president, but it's hard to be as excited as I was in 2016," Koenig told The Times. "That was the first time I felt deeply about a candidate."

Noname

Noname is no stranger to supporting a good cause—she started her own book club this year—and publicizing her endorsement of Sanders is only the latest on her to-do list of deeds. She simply tweeted the candidate's name with a green check mark emoji.

Miley Cyrus

Cyrus can also add activist to her resume, having founded the Happy Hippie Foundation to help trans and LGBTQ+ youth. It's no surprise that her views are in line with Sanders. When the senator shared Cardi B's tweet, he shared it on Instagram, to which the edgy pop star replied "True!"

Lil Yachty

Sanders fans were thrilled when the senator announced he was running for president again in February, and Lil Yachty was one of them. The red-dreadlocked rapper retweeted Sanders' campaign video with a straight-to-the-point "Let's gooooo" in solidarity.

Eric Andre

Sanders has long been vocal about legalizing marijuana, evidently a selling point for Eric Andre. "Can we please give this guy the keys to the whitehouse already?" the comedian implored on Instagram, captioning a photo promoting Sanders' plan for legalization.

Kim Gordon

Gordon, founding member of the iconic rock band Sonic Youth, used an adorable photo of her dog to share her endorsement: "Go Bernie!" she captioned an Instagram photo of her dog pawing a Bernie pin.

Original: Slate Magazine

On Monday, Bernie Sanders' 2020 team launched a mobile initiative campaign that soon become a trending hashtag on Twitter.

#MyBernieStory began on the mobile BERN app, as supporters were encouraged to download the app on Apple or GooglePlay to post and share stories about why they were voting for Sanders in the next presidential election. Soon a barrage of one-minute clips of young people declaring what state they're from and "how a Bernie presidency will change life for [them] or [their] loved ones" flooded Twitter.

It's a frankly brilliant campaign tactic, considering its virality and youth-oriented outreach from one of the oldest presidential candidates for the 2020 ticket. Bernie is a beacon of American socialism at 77 years old, while Joe Biden, 76, hopes to gain support from Old Guard Democrats.

But let's appreciate how some of these stories are so hopeful, so amplified and optimistic, that they bring us one step closer to mythologizing Bernie Sanders as a hero of American mythology: a Joseph Campbell-style Everyman who may just be the answer to our collective inner turmoil and daily struggles. People's belief in Bernie span from him finally bringing universal healthcare to their ailing family members to caring for uncomfortably packed people on a crowded subway train.

With passionate supporters asserting, "Bernie lives and breathes solidarity. When someone hurts, he hurts," it seems we're finally close to giving Bernie Sanders the Chuck Norris-level of adoration he deserves. I mean deep-seated spiritual trust like, "There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Bernie Sanders allows to live"; "Bernie Sanders lost his virginity before his dad did"; and "Bernie Sanders crossed the road—No one has ever dared question his motives."

Because He Defends the Vulnerable





Because Socialism Is a Superpower


Because Some Are Kinda Hot for Bernie Sanders?


Because F**k the Bad Guys




Because Hope Is Better Than Nothing